Church of St. Stanislaus Kostka
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57-15 61st Street at Maspeth Avenue
Maspeth (Queens), N.Y. 11378
57-15 61st Street at Maspeth
Avenue (since 1925)
► II/17 DeLosh Brothers - rebuild of Jardine
Perry Avenue (1872-1925)
• II/ George Jardine & Son
There were a number of Catholic families among the farmers and
dairymen who had settled in Maspeth some 200 years ago, but it
wasn’t until 1854, when St, Mary’s was established
in neighboring Winfield, that they were able to attend Mass regularly.
Fifteen years later, St. Mary’s pastor, Father Ignatius Zeller,
visited Maspeth weekly to celebrate Sunday Mass in a local storefront.
The community was growing rapidly – and its Catholic population
along with it. In 1872, Bishop Loughlin dedicated a new church
under the patronage of St. Stanislaus Koskta, on Perry Avenue,
and began serving the five hundred Catholic families in Maspeth
and nearby communities.
For six months the new church was a mission of St. Mary’s,
but in June 1872 reverend John McElhenny became the first pastor.
He was succeeded by Fathers Molloy, Baxter and Malone, and in
1882 Father Pauletigi began his pastorate which would last for
sixteen years. Father Murray was pastor for two years, and then
at the beginning of the Twentieth Century Rev. Joseph A, Bennet
came to St. Stanislaus to being his quarter century leadership.
The community and the parish were growing in light manufacturing
and other businesses began in the area and homes wer being built
by people who worked “in the city” and became what
we now call “commuters.” New immigrants from various
parts of Europe were also finding their way to Maspeth.
By the time World War I ended, Fr. Bennett knew he needed to
build a larger church and began plans for a new church and rectory,
with a school and convent to follow in the future. The land,
on Clermont (61st Street and Maspeth Avenues, was purchased in
1920. The site was the former Quaker cemetery dating back to
the earliest settlers. Maspeth’s Catholics and non-Catholics
alike participated in the fundraising campaign – chiefly
the “selling” of bricks at ten cents each – and
the cornerstone was laid in 1923.
The beautiful combination church and rectory was dedicated in
1925 by the Most Reverend Thomas E. Molloy, Bishop of Brooklyn.
The church was not fully completed when Fr. Bennett died in 1926.
The impressive marble altar from Italy was donated in his memory
by his family; the lovely stained glass windows were donated
by parishioners and church societies In Fr. Bennett’s memory,
the people of St Saviour’s Episcopal Church, whose pastor,
Fr, Frederick S. Griffin, was a close friend of Fr. Bennett’s
, erected the original Stature of the Blessed Mother in the rectory
yard, facing toward St. Savior’s. Fr. Joseph A. Bennett
was succeeded by his brother, Fr. James J. Bennett. The Parish,
which had long ago begun to be called “Fr. Bennett’s
Church,” would now continue to be know by that name for
many years to come.
Fr. James Bennett came to Maspeth with a background of building
and expanding parishes, both spiritually and physically. He completed
the building of St. Stanislaus Church begun by his brother, remodeled
the Perry Avenue building as a parish hall, and began the parish
school. Despite the Depression, the school was fully operational
by February 1934, with the first floor used as the school, and
the upper floor classrooms serving as the convent for the teaching
Sister of St. Joseph until the convent was built in 1938.